Southern Comfort Kitchen Shutters In San Diego's Mission Beach Area Due To Fight With New Landlord

October 26, 2022

After only two years in business, Southern Comfort Kitchen in San Diego's Mission Beach has closed due to an ongoing dispute between the restaurant's owners and their new landlords, who wish to open a "gentlemen's bar and grill" in the space. 

In 2020, after nearly 40 years serving San Diego's Mission Beach community, Gabbiano Pizza shuttered during the pandemic so the owners could retire. Around the same time, Christopher & Shy Wellington, while operating a once-popular bed and breakfast in Tennessee that closed due to the pandemic, were looking for a change. The Wellingtons sold their home, packed all their belongings, and moved to San Diego to bring Southern soul food to San Diego's beach area. Last month, Southern Comfort Kitchen closed, citing the need to perform maintenance, but the truth was the building had a new owner that was causing waves for the 2-year-old restaurant. 

"We wanted to let everyone know what's happening at Southern Comfort Kitchen (SCK), 2912 Mission Blvd," read a post published by Shy Sontze on "I’m sure many of you have noticed we have been closed for maintenance for a month. On 9-1 our building was sold to a couple from [Nevada]. Although we had a first right of refusal to purchase, we were convinced not to exercise it and allow the buyers to purchase, with the assurance our lease would remain intact and they were only buying as an investment rental property. The day they closed escrow, the story changed and we have been fighting to keep the business we worked so hard to build ever since. They have filed lawsuits and complaints everywhere you can think of, threatened us, and raised our rent to $10,000 a month; we just can’t fight much more. We have always felt like we kept the 'Family Friendly' atmosphere in South Mission Beach and improved the aesthetics of our Community. This doesn't seem to be a concern to the new owner. That said, we are forbidden to water our planters outside. and I hate to see them all die and look ugly. Anyone who wants them or any of our planters is welcome to take them. The buyers of the property intend to immediately open a new establishment: Octopussea Gentleman's Bar and Grill. All we know is the name. But I think that says enough."

The building at 2912 Mission Boulevard in San Diego's Mission Beach is now believed to be owned by OctopusSea LLC, which has members Tammy & Lance Henson listed on the company's Statement of Information. Rumor has it, the new owners intend to open OctopusSea Gentleman's Bar & Grill in the space, which is believed to be a concept similar in style to the Hooters Restaurants chain, with scantily clad waitstaff and a menu of tavern food.